Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Road Trip

Back through the mists of time in the late 60’s, when I was in high school, my friends Tom, Gene, John, and I drove all the way to Cincinnati in the middle of the night just to get some White Castles. It didn’t matter that we could get White Castles in Louisville. We were just four guys enjoying a road trip that would make all of our parents very unhappy. If there had been one more guy in our group we could have started our own hamburger chain. In our carefree youth, drunk with our own freedom, it didn’t matter to us that we driving 200 miles just for hamburgers. Even though we didn’t realize it at the time we were experiencing the journey as the destination. I can’t remember if I-71 was even built yet. We may have gone on U.S. 42. It doesn’t matter. We were young and all of life was a grand adventure. I’m sure we laughed a lot along the way and that the radio was blasting the songs of the day. No matter how hard I try I cannot recapture the mood of those days. I am too weighed down with the concerns of my current existence. Life hasn’t seemed carefree in many years. I am not trying to recapture my lost youth. However, I do miss the zest for living that I once had and that I struggle to have now. Those days were certainly simpler times though not without their own challenges. We tend to wear rose colored glasses whenever we look backwards. It is sad, however, that activities of our youth seemed like adventures while most activities of our older selves seem like chores. As we age and our energy levels dissipate, how can we live with enthusiasm? How do we re-capture the sense of wonder and awe that we had in youth when in our old age it seems a struggle just to get out of bed? Certainly my granddaughter shakes me out of my doldrums whenever she’s around but she can’t babysit me all the time. The best I can do on my own is try to be awake and present to the moment, hoping I can see the wonder of it all with my tired eyes. Why were all of us in such a hurry to grow up?

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